Toast the beautiful wine-growing region of Portugal on a Douro River cruise. Itineraries usually start in Lisbon, where guests spend one or more nights in the city and visit such landmarks as the stately Monastery of San Jeronimo and the ornate, waterfront Belem Tower.
Then, head up to Porto on the mouth of the river at the Atlantic Ocean, and sail through the northern part of the country, past vineyards, old farmhouses and rolling terrain.
In Porto, guests spend time in the medieval city center, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sip sweet port wine -- and learn how it's made -- at the wine academy at Pinhao, the center of port wine production. Explore a 14th-century monastery at Alpendurada, and stroll the gardens of Mateus Palace, located near Regua. You'll also cross the border with Spain and spend a day in Salamanca, a spectacular Renaissance city and home to one of the world's oldest universities.
Cruising is a particularly good value, because your stateroom, onboard meals and sightseeing are included in the rate that you pay up front. Tour directors are with you the entire way taking care of everyday details, while experienced local guides share a wealth of knowledge about each stop.
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